Voters can size up Sean Casten, Jeanne Ives in upcoming debates

With mud being slung on both sides by the candidates and their supporters, the race for Illinois' 6th Congressional District seat is one of the messier battles in the suburbs.

Ads from incumbent Democrat Sean Casten of Downers Grove and Republican challenger Jeanne Ives of Wheaton have targeted each other, and some Ives campaign signs have been defaced with vulgarities.

Fortunately, you'll have the opportunity to see Casten and Ives address the issues that have divided them at several virtual debates and forums between now and the Nov. 3 election.

First up is a forum to be held Monday by a coalition of area League of Women Voters groups. It's scheduled for 7 p.m. and also will feature Libertarian candidate Bill Redpath of West Dundee.

Registration is limited. To learn more or to register, visit

Casten and Ives next will jointly appear in an online debate Oct .3 hosted by WBBM 780-AM and Crain's Chicago Business. It's scheduled for 7 p.m. and will air live on the radio station.

On Oct. 9, they'll jointly appear in a debate hosted by WGN 9. It's set for 7 p.m. and will air on the TV station, but the broadcast time hasn't been scheduled.

Additionally, Casten is scheduled to be interviewed at 4 p.m. Tuesday via video by representatives of the Daily Herald and Shaw Media editorial boards. A video recording of the session will be released after the discussion.

Ives was invited to attend but declined. In a news release, the Ives campaign said she isn't seeking endorsements from the Daily Herald, Shaw Media or the Chicago Sun-Times because of how the newspapers endorsed her opponents in the 2018 gubernatorial primary and in the congressional primary earlier this year.

Last month, Casten and Ives were interviewed separately by the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce. Videos of those sessions can be found online at

The 6th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

Earlier in the campaign, Ives challenged Casten to five debates, one in each of those counties.

"Top issues in central Kane County are different than the top issues in Barrington," Ives spokeswoman Kathleen Murphy said. "Jeanne wants to talk with people in each part of the district about what is most important to them."

Casten made a similar challenge to then-incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam in 2018 before unseating Roskam in the election. Casten and Roskam did participate in several debates on TV and radio, and they met jointly with newspaper editorial boards.

Team Casten spokesman Jacob Vurpillat criticized Ives for skipping editorial board interviews.

"While Rep. Casten is excited about the debate schedule, he is disappointed that his opponent is declining to participate in the open forums of discussion that voters have traditionally relied upon to stay informed," Vurpillat said.

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